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Equity and Equality

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  • Jean-Yves Duclos

Abstract

Is horizontal equity (HE) the "most widely accepted principle of equity"? Or does it stand in "opposition to the advancement of human welfare"? This paper argues that the case for the HE principle is not as straightforward as is usually thought and that it requires advanced notions of justice and well-being. The most likely ethical basis HE appears to combine a Rawlsian maximin principle and a view of well-being that allows for relative local comparison effects. The paper also explores some of the dimensions of equality and well-being along which the HE principle can be applied and presents a number of examples showing how HE considerations can provide an important input into policy analysis.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 0629.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0629

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Keywords: Horizontal equity; vertical equity; redistribution; equality; social justice;

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References

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  1. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1981. "Utilitarianism and Horizontal Equity: The Case for Random Taxation," NBER Working Papers 0694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Sami Bibi & Jean-Yves Duclos, 2003. "Equity and Policy Effectiveness with Imperfect Targeting," Cahiers de recherche 0335, CIRPEE.
  3. Deepa Narayan & Patti Petesch, 2002. "Voices of the Poor : From Many Lands," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14053, August.
  4. Michael Grimm, 2007. "Removing the anonymity axiom in assessing pro-poor growth," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 179-197, August.
  5. Steven R. Beckman & Buhong Zheng & John P. Formby & W. James Smith, 2002. "Envy, malice and Pareto efficiency: An experimental examination," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 349-367.
  6. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Jalbert, Vincent & Araar, Abdelkrim, 2000. "Classical Horizontal Inequity and Reranking: an Integrated Approach," Cahiers de recherche 0002, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  7. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Jalbert, Vincent & Araar, Abdelkrim, 2003. "Classical Horizontal Inequity and Reranking: an Integrating Approach," Cahiers de recherche 0306, CIRPEE.
  8. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1996. "Are there dynamic gains from a poor-area development program?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1695, The World Bank.
  9. Balcer, Yves & Sadka, Efraim, 1986. "Equivalence scales, horizontal equity and optimal taxation under utilitarianism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 79-97, February.
  10. Pfahler, Wilhelm, 1987. "Redistributive Effects of Tax Progressivity: Evaluating a General Class of Aggregate Measures," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 42(1), pages 1-31.
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  12. Mui, Vai-Lam, 1995. "The economics of envy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 311-336, May.
  13. Jean-Yves Duclos & Peter Lambert, . "A Normative Approach to Measuring Classical Horizontal Inequity," Discussion Papers 97/3, Department of Economics, University of York.
  14. King, Mervyn A, 1983. "An Index of Inequality: With Applications to Horizontal Equity and Social Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 99-115, January.
  15. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309.
  16. Park, Albert & Wang, Sangui & Wu, Guobao, 2002. "Regional poverty targeting in China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 123-153, October.
  17. Feldstein, Martin, 1976. "On the theory of tax reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 77-104.
  18. Andrew E. Clark & David Masclet & Marie Claire Villeval, 2006. "Effort and comparison income: Survey and experimental evidence," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590552, HAL.
  19. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2006. "Inequality, Lobbying, and Resource Allocation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 257-279, March.
  20. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2004. "The nature of human altruism," Experimental 0402003, EconWPA.
  21. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin A. Hassett, 1999. "A New Measure of Horizontal Equity," NBER Working Papers 7035, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Kaplow, Louis, 1989. "Horizontal Equity: Measures in Search of a Principle," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 42(2), pages 139-54, June.
  23. Nava Ashraf & Colin F. Camerer & George Loewenstein, 2005. "Adam Smith, Behavioral Economist," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 131-145, Summer.
  24. Ravallion, Martin, 2004. "Competing concepts of inequality in the globalization debate," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3243, The World Bank.
  25. Mervyn A. King, 1980. "An Index of Inequality: With Applications to Horizontal Equity and Social Mobility," NBER Working Papers 0468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Louis Kaplow, 1985. "Horizontal Equity: Measures in Search of a Principle," NBER Working Papers 1679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan & Francis Roy-Desrosiers, 2011. "Québec's Childcare Universal Low Fees Policy 10 Years After: Effects, Costs and Benefits," Cahiers de recherche 1101, CIRPEE.
  2. Essama-Nssah, B., 2008. "Assessing the redistributive effect of fiscal policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4592, The World Bank.

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